Board & Staff
Board of Directors
Eric Aulicino Eric is the owner of EBITDA Intl. Business Consultancy and is a 30+ year global M&A and business integration professional, specializing in process optimization & international expansion. He received a B.A. from University of Arkansas at Little Rock; a Russian Linguist Certification from Defense Language Institute/Presidio of Monterey, CA; and a certificate in Russian studies from Middlebury and Harvard. Eric is an Army 10th SFG(A) Honorably Discharged veteran. After living overseas for nearly 30 years, Eric relocated from Europe to North Egremont in 2020 and, with his partner and her children, has a small farm with rescue animals (horses, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens). He is passionate about community and economic development and strongly believes that leveraging his diverse international experience and business skillset can positively support the efforts of the CDCSB. He is committed to working with stakeholders in the area to optimize available resources, advocate for an improved quality of life for all, and support affordable housing and enhanced economic and employment opportunities.
Cara Becker, Treasurer Cara graduated from Adelphi University with a degree in Business Administration. Before moving to the Berkshires, she worked as a Manager of Executive Training and Development for Lord & Taylor stores where she created and implemented Executive training programs for the company nationwide. Cara moved with her family to the Berkshires from Long Island and has since taken roles as Community Liaison for the town of Great Barrington and Executive Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police. Cara has also participated in many task forces that focus on the betterment of the community she loves.
Erik Bruun Erik is the President of SoCo Creamery and has served on the CDCSB Board of Directors previously. In his career, he has also led an investment company specializing in emerging markets and has been a reporter, editor and writer, publishing several books, including Our Nation’s Archive. He was the founding president of the Railroad Street Youth Project for ten years and has taken leadership roles in several community organizations.
Spring Burke Spring works as a Vice President, Mortgage Advisor for Pittsfield Cooperative Bank and has worked in the banking industry for over half of her life in different roles. It is very fulfilling to help her customers and potential customers. For the past 6 years she sat on the Board of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce with the role of Treasurer for several years. She lives in Norfolk, CT, which is her hometown. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, vacationing, hiking and golfing.
Eugene Carr Eugene is a serial entrepreneur who has been a visionary in building Internet-based technology solutions at the intersection of arts & technology. His first company was the national arts listing site CultureFinder.com, funded by AOL Ventures and Comcast. He then co-founded and was the CEO of Patron Technology, which developed PatronManager.com, a CRM/ticketing/marketing/
Thomas Doyle Tom is a Broker Associate with Dunes Real Estate and Bishop West Real Estate, as well as the Managing Director of TOPA Enterprises, LLC, a real estate investment and development company. Tom joined the CDCSB Board in 2017.
Jim Harwood, President Jim has practiced architecture for more than 20 years and is a graduate of Cornell University. In 2007, Jim moved from New York City to Lenox, Massachusetts where his office for J. Harwood Architect is now based. Jim has a history of designing responsible, energy efficient buildings in the challenging northeastern climate. He is a LEED accredited professional. Jim joined the board at CDCSB in 2010 because of his commitment to the creation of living wage jobs and affordable housing.
Robin Helfand Robin is the Owner and “Sweet Chief” of her eponymous Sweet Shop, Robin’s Candys, in Great Barrington. Before opening her business in 2004, Robin and her three children lived in Germany and Australia. Robin holds a BA/BS from Tufts and an MBA from Cornell. When not reacquainting customers with the joys of pixie stix & nik’l’nips, Robin is dedicated to building our community. She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the MA Retailers Association and the Specialty Food Association.
Brian Horan Brian is a respected litigator and counselor. His experience spans areas including real estate, health care, telecommunications, construction, finance, insurance, and intellectual property. Before moving to the Berkshires, Brian spent more than a decade advising New York City agencies and litigating on critical issues including expanding affordable housing and economic opportunity. Brian received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from NYU School of Law. He and his family relocated to Great Barrington in 2020.
Mike Igoe Mike grew up in Great Barrington and watched the town evolve from a relatively quiet, undiscovered country enclave to a place that has grown by leaps and bounds. Mike graduated from Westfield State with a B.S. in political science, having enjoyed an exciting career as a college baseball player. He has spent the last three decades working in construction as a mason, including running his own masonry business. While he enjoys the beautiful Berkshire landscape, he especially likes living in Great Barrington. Mike thinks that the open-mindedness of the people in the area make it special because “everyone has the chance to thrive.” He sees his work on the CDCSB board as an opportunity to help others thrive.
Donna Norman Donna is the Founder + CEO of Calyx Berkshire Dispensary located in downtown Great Barrington. She has had a diverse career as a businesswoman in several fast moving industries–Publishing, Video Game Development, and Investment Banking. Donna is a testament to tenacity, vision, and compassion. She is the only 100% Women owned dispensary in Berkshire County and only 4 in the state. Donna has lived in the Berkshires for over 20 years and is passionate about our local community. She sits on the baord of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. Donna purchased her iconic building last year and has already changed the face of downtown by bringing Art, Music, and Cannabis to town.
Richard Stanley, Vice President Richard has been involved in town projects and affordable housing projects, including the development of several condominium projects in Great Barrington with affordable home ownership. Taconic Parking lot was funded through a grant written by Richard and he helped found the CDCSB in the early 1990s, serving on the board at that time. We are pleased to have Richard back on the CDCSB board once again.
David Thorne, Clerk David has been the owner of the Thornewood Inn in Great Barrington for more than three decades. With his wife, Terry, they transformed a neglected Dutch Colonial home on the outskirts of Great Barrington into a successful Bed & Breakfast and restaurant. A talented musician, David can be found performing at the Inn for visitors and guests.
Philip Orenstein, Interim Executive Director
Philip is a finance professional with over 35 years of experience in banking, capital markets, and investment fund management. He received a B.A. in Economics from The George Washington University and an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University. After purchasing a home in Great Barrington in 1998, Philip and his wife, Nancy, raised their two children in the Berkshires. He and his family actively participate in a broad array of cultural and outdoor activities. Philip is the Chair of the Great Barrington Finance Committee and a member of the Board of the Great Barrington Housing Authority. In his free time Philip enjoys biking, golf, and developing his pizza-making skills.
Emmalyn Gaertner, Manager of Finance and Operations
Emmalyn joined CDCSB full-time in 2017. Emmalyn is a Berkshire native from Becket, MA. After graduating from high school she spent the next ten years living and studying in Washington, DC, New Mexico, Texas, and Spain. She studied Sociology and Spanish at American University in Washington, DC, worked in the education department at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, and taught yoga. She lives in Great Barrington with her husband and children.
Photo credit: Sam Backhaus
Giulia Laveto-Emery, Business Program and Operations Coordinator
Giulia joined CDCSB in early 2022. Giulia is originally from Italy and moved to the U.S. in 2013. She graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Verona and, since relocating to the Berkshires in 2015, has worked in the nonprofit sector. Giulia is passionate about food and cooking, and loves to support our excellent local restaurants. She lives in Great Barrington with her husband, two young children, and dog.